Mathieu Theis is 2016 Swiss Barista Champion and Urnex Ambassador. We had the chance to interview him in the final stage of his preparations for World Barista Championship in Dublin. This took place in Jilove u Prahy, at the training centre of his coaches Petra Davies Vesela and Gwilym Davies. Mathieu Theis is an independent home barista who turned out to be the best barista in the whole Switzerland. Enjoy his story.
I have a very old brother and he told me that in life there are two kinds. There are the people who are having normal jobs so they can pay bills and they have fun outside of their job. Then there are the people whose job is their passion. My job is not super well paid and I am not doing coffee as my job either but it is definitely something I would like to transition.
I try to enjoy everything. I am also passionate about food because I love it. It is the same experience when you have delicious meal. You travel in your mouth. It is the same thing with wine and tea. Generally I try to enjoy little things of normal life. Eating, sleeping, drinking, listening to music and going out with friends …
On Independent Baristas
If you think about it, [professional baristas] they don’t develop their sensory skills that much because usually it is the same coffee. It is probably the same coffee for a long time. When you are an independent barista you can have a different coffee every day. You could just buy coffee from different places and if you really look at what competition is about, it is all about sensory skills. On the downside we are less comfortable with espresso machine, but I am home barista, yes!
On Making Coffee at Home
I make espresso and cappuccino every morning. To make my coffee I have to wake up early because it takes me like half an hour. I make a shot, I make sure everything is good and I clean everything. Imagine for just one shot I clean everything but it is important. If you want good coffee it has to be clean!